A Fast And Firm Education

Bandon Trails co-designer Bill Coore discusses unique conditions Public Links competitors will face next month

The first hole at Bandon Trails is a perfect example of how fast and firm conditions will affect play at this year's Public Links Championships at the Bandon Dunes Resort in Bandon, Ore. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
By Evan Rothman
May 11, 2011

Two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw and design partner Bill Coore created Bandon Trails at the Bandon Dunes Resort. The layout will be one of the two courses used for next month’s U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links championships (Old Macdonald is the other). Freelance writer Evan Rothman talked with Coore about what the fast and firm conditions the competitors will face and the strategy they must employ to succeed. 

Fast and firm courses have always been our preference, conditions permitting. We believe that brings forth the most interesting golf, for all classes of players, by offering a variety of shots that can be played throughout the course, on the ground as well as through the air.

For the game’s most highly skilled players, the easiest type of golf is golf that’s dictatorial: Hit your ball over this and between this and that. When there is greater latitude in the types of shots that can be played, particularly around the greens, it brings the element of uncertainty into the equation. An apparently simple shot that’s playable three or four ways can be more challenging than what looks to be a really difficult shot that only can be executed one way. Doubt in the mind of the very best golfers is a strong course defense.

There are also no guarantees on firm, fast sand-based seaside courses like Bandon Trails or Old Macdonald. You can hit what appears to be the most perfect shot, only for the ball to meander off in a direction that you might think is unjust. All the Public Links competitors will experience such moments. Some will leave Bandon Trails thinking, “Well, that wasn’t fair. It wasn’t totally predictable. I couldn’t mechanically execute according to plan and have absolutely predictable results.”

Yet that element of uncertainty and surprise is an integral part of the sport and its continued fascination. Throughout golf’s history, the mental side of the game has been as important as the physical side. The players who have adapted the best to fate and fickleness—who view the breaks as eventually evening out—have done the best.

I would hope that the whole experience at Bandon Dunes becomes a strong foundational block in these young people’s education in golf. It won’t be golf they will experience on a frequent basis, but it’s a type of golf that cannot be ignored.

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image